Perils of the Senior Year
The title makes the theme of this article very clear. Here I sit, before my computer, with a thousand windows open, with notes stuck on the panels of the desk, notes written on my hands - and I still have the strange paranoia that I am missing something that I should be doing. There are six and a half weeks before my last finals as an undergraduate student. I should be, like most senior Bilkent students, turning in applications, taking tests, fixing things and getting ready for the day when one specific period of my life ends.
I might actually be more relaxed than most of my fellow senior students. I am not looking for a job because I will start my MA degree right away in September. And I'm not even going away; I will probably stay at Bilkent for another two years. But still, I am aware that it will definitely not be the same experience. Once a student graduates, new responsibilities will follow, no matter what it is that they are doing. The most liberated time of life, allocated for things one won't have the courage or energy to do later, is over. However, it is not such a hopeless case. Maybe liberation does not bring the liberal wildness we might be used to, but it brings freedom: Freedom from economic dependence, or freedom of enjoying the first mature steps.
What interests me more is not the graduation itself, but the process to it, which I mentioned in my introduction. While walking around campus, grab a senior student's arm, and ask this person what they have been doing recently. The answer and the look in their eyes are likely to remind you of the bleak times when you took ÖSS, the university entrance exam, and had a similar look, overwhelmed by the melancholy over what is about to be left behind, the excitement of what will happen in the future and most importantly, the tension of the unknown.
Here's some relaxing advice for you then: Enjoy the warmth and humbleness of the new café at Dorm 70. Make sure that you laugh and laugh while you are drinking your daily coffee at Mozart. Enjoy the frequent film screenings, join student clubs for the last time, and plan for your last Spring Fest. Lie, lie, lie on the green grass (found everywhere at Bilkent) and look at the sky and dream. And just assume that everything will turn out alright.
My friend Ezgi gave me the inspiration for this subject, so I must say thanks to her. And for those who wonder why this is noticeably shorter than my regular articles, again, the title says it all.